Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Prairie Warbler Hunting

Call me lazy, but I like to finish my morning bird walk with a visit to my favorite "sit spot" just on the west side of the 196th Avenue levee, that runs along the canal across from our subdivision.  

These are views along the levee, looking  to the south:

196th Canal HDR COREL 20141213

Levee trail to south 20140903

My sit spot is too moist underfoot to actually sit, and during the wet season it is flooded to a foot or more, when I cannot descend all the way down the slope. Its advantage over other places is the open area in front, an unintended result of the "wreckreationalists" performing tight circles in the mud with their off-road vehicles. This provides greater sight distance than most places along the levee path, where lack of maintenance has allowed exotic elephant grass to form an opaque 8 foot wall.

This is the sit spot as the water was receding in late September:

ORV trail 20130929

Events in nature are subject to the laws of place, time and probability. We can control the where and when, and the better we understand the cycles of sun and season, the more likely our expectations will be realized. In my sit spot, depending upon the time of day and season, certain events are highly unlikely. Rather than trying to predict what I will see, I am open to anything. Such was the case this morning.

After a wait of several minutes to undo some of the disturbance I created by entering this quiet and shady place, it gradually came alive. Who knows how many eyes were fixed on me? Sixty feet away, in a space between the treetops, a Prairie Warbler appeared, looking very alert. 

Maybe he sees me:

Prairie Warbler 01-20150105

No. He is on a hunt. He sees the prey:

Prairie Warbler 02-20150105

He seizes the prey:

Prairie Warbler 03-20150105

He squeezes the prey:

Prairie Warbler 04-20150105

Prairie Warbler 05-20150105

He swallows the prey, a big juicy spider!

Prairie Warbler 06-20150105


  1. Чудове небо! Фото 2 просто неймовірне!

    xoxo, Juliana | PJ’ Happies :) | PJ’ Ecoproject

  2. Hello,

    Amazing photos of Prairie Warbler. I have not seen this bird in my place, Kochi.

    Best wishes

  3. Fantastic images of the foraging Prairie Warbler! Beautiful!